Jeff Lemire draws from a familiar well, but that is just what the doctor ordered for Extraordinary X-Men #1. As many of the All-New All-Different Marvel books have done, Extraordinary X-Men serves as a character introduction, while also laying the groundwork for an interesting story. This issue will seem familiar in style and content but as far as a #1 team building issue goes, Lemire and Ramos execute at a very high level.
There are a lot of nice looking panels in this issue, but none as important as the first. I am a big fan of Storm and when faced with the spotlight she can shine. Storm is a great character to lead this team. You can tell early on she will make the tough decisions. The simplicity of the opening panel is what makes it so powerful. Ramos pencils Storm, sitting, hands folded over her mouth with the type of piercing gaze that makes you want to confess your darkest secret. She stares with those big blue eyes and I’m instantly hooked.
Storm begins the issue looking to Professor X for guidance, when Bobby comes in we realize Professor X isn’t actually there. While this is happening Illyana is saving a scared mutant from a riotous mob. She flexes her muscle and proves she is not to be messed with, which is yet again another impressive two page spread from Ramos. Mutants, as usual, are hated by humans. However, it appears to be at it’s worse, as mutants are being attacked all over the world. Maybe worse than that, no new mutants are popping up. Terrigen mist has been released into the atmosphere and it is killing the mutants. The time is now for mutants to take action, so the first order of business for Storm is to go find Jean Grey and bring her back. Yay! Predictable… but still… yay!
Illyana travels to Russia to collect her brother Piotr from the farm life. This is where Lemire shines and where you can see the magic this book could potentially bring. Lemire deals so well with relationships. He slows down what has been a fast paced issue and creates a heartfelt emotional family moment between two very different siblings.
Well, enough of the mushy stuff, Lemire heads back to the action and lets Ramos talk the lead with a Nightcrawler scene. He attempts an escape from his demonic captors, but unfortunately comes up short. Setting the stage for a rescue mission in the near future.
Extraordinary X-Men #1 lays the groundwork for what is sure to be the X-team you don’t want to miss. The issue is a little predictable, drawing from a few classic X-wells, but the story does not suffer for it. Lemire uses the classic X-plots to make us feel at home with this book. This is the X-book you deserve.